Getting pregnant while you are still breastfeeding an older child brings its own set of challenges – from reduced fertility, to irregular periods or no periods at all yet. If you are nursing, it can certainly be more difficult to know whether or not you are pregnant. What are the early pregnancy signs to watch out for while you are breastfeeding?
The first clue lies in your breasts themselves. When you are newly pregnant, breasts undergo a number of changes that manifest in a different way when you are nursing. In what ways can your breasts be speaking to you? Not every woman is the same. One of the most common signs is sore nipples while breastfeeding. If you have not had sore nipples in a long while, painful and sore nipples should get you wondering about pregnancy.
A pregnancy can affect your milk supply greatly, so if your child is fussy at the breast all of a sudden, or refuses to nurse, then it could be a sign your milk supply has dropped, and you are pregnant. Experts also say that a pregnancy changes the make-up and taste of breast milk, meaning that your child could be fussy because of these changes as well.
Breastfeeding mothers are likely to have a whole host of other pregnancy symptoms, just like any other pregnant woman. Nursing does not liberate you from morning sickness, extreme fatigue, frequent urination, a bloated abdomen, and other possible signs of pregnancy. But if your period had not returned yet, finding out you are pregnant can still pose a bigger challenge.
Women who just found out they are pregnant again might be asking themselves if they need to wean their older child. The answer is that some women successfully breastfeed older children throughout pregnancy, and even go on to tandem nurse their new baby and older child. But others find that breastfeeding while pregnant places too big a demand on their body, and they choose to wean. Then there are children who simply refuse to continue nursing when their mother is pregnant, because of the changes in the amount of milk, and its taste and structure. At the end of the day, every family will need to find out what works for them.